US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, speaking in Houston, Texas said that he and the Department of Energy (DOE) support states that are realizing their nuclear power generation units are “worth subsidizing.”
“We have seen what is happening [with blackouts] in Venezuela,” Perry said. “In the US Northeast, we have no new gas pipelines in New York and nuclear facilities in New England are closing down. What happens in a polar vortex? What happens if New York City lost power for seven days? It would be catastrophic. Is the money spent on keeping baseload worth it? I think it is.”
He did not know if the DOE staff were in discussions with state officials, such as Pennsylvania – where their legislature is debating over new rules that might include nuclear as part of their renewable generation portfolio standard – but he added that such discussions would be “wise to have”, as he fully supports programs run by states that do not rely on the federal government.
Perry said the DOE have programs that support nuclear projects – specifically, he pointed out DOE’s financial support with a $8.3 billion guaranteed loan provided to Southern Company for their utility subsidiary’s expansion at the Vogtle nuclear facility in Georgia.
The US needs electricity that is uninterruptible, Perry said